Zahter –Thymbra spicata L.- as a symbol for wild plants in the region
Zahter –Thymbra spicata L.- is of the most important wild edible plants consumed among Kilis/Turkey inhabitants. It naturally grows on the mountains of Kilis and is collected for many purposes such as wild vegetable, herbal tea, spice and folk medicine by local people.
Zahter products have a great deal of economic value in the region, and its trade supply to local people as an important income. Due to its economic importance and excessive collection for local use and trade, it is under threats of extinction.
According to the interviews with the local people, it was realized that annual amount of the zahter harvested from the mountains has severely declined in comparison to the past. Based on this purposes, it is a necessity to perform some training courses to local people, especially to the collectors from villages on harvesting techniques and times for medicinally and economically important wild plants for the future generations.
On February 2012, the Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Science, held a training seminar to the farmers and medicinal plants collectors in Kilis. With the support of Agriculture Chamber of Kilis, about 100 participants were informed about what a wild plant was, how to collect wild plants and when the right time for harvest.
In this context, it was performed a detailed knowledge on sustainable harvest techniques and uses of medicinal and aromatic plants naturally grown and collected in Kilis district. The theoretical information was followed by slide shows, photos and direct harvesting in the field of Kilis region. After training seminar on wild plants, the summary and photos of training seminar was sent to the local and national newspapers.